OnePhoto Focus (March)

It’s the first Friday of the month and that means it’s time for Stacy Fisher’s famous OnePhoto Focus where everyone gets a chance to apply their magic touches to the same image.  But before we get to that, a flash back to last month when I visited the Washington National Cathedral for a morning shoot.

National Cathedral 02

Morning Light, National Cathedral

(Technical Data: Nikon D810 on tripod with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, extended to 44mm; two images photomerged, exposure 0.5 sec@ f/16, ISO 400)

The National Cathedral has recently started a series of special sessions for photographers who wish to capture images of the interior before the doors open for the public.  The number of photographers is limited to about 25 and reservations can be made in advance. Tripods are allowed and, depending on the day some areas may not be open. Cost of admission is $30.  Details can be found here.

Now back to our main program, the monthly OnePhoto Focus.  This month’s photograph was contributed by Nancy Merrill.  The original is shown below.

March 2016 1PF Before

Original Image by Nancy Merrill

The building, as the sign indicates, is a theatre dedicated to the works of Shakespeare.  The theatrical theme seemed to be a good one to run with and, as we all know, theatre deals with fantasy.  So I thought I would go with that.

No need to go into the boring details of the “image prep” phase in Adobe Camera Raw, largely because Nancy has kindly provided us with a clean, well-exposed, and sharply focused image that needs no heroic efforts.  Only a few standard tweaks were applied.

The next step was to set the scene and it seemed that a visit to Photoshop’s Filter Gallery would be a good place to start.  The “Glowing Edges” effect under the Stylize tab produced an electric effect and, after a little trial and error, the image shown below emerged. The  sign was “protected” from the effects of the filter tool because I had other plans for it.

Robin Kent 1PF March 2016 Step 2A

“Glowing Edge” Effect Applied

Since this is a Shakespearean Theatre, it seemed appropriate to make that fact very obvious.  A quick online search produced an image of a poster for one of the bard’s most famous plays.  It was superimposed as a separate layer and the opacity was slightly reduced.  A mask was used to paint out the unwanted sections of the poster.

Robin Kent 1PF March 2016 Step 4A

Sign Added

With the stage and scenery ready, some characters are needed.  Back to the Internet.  This search found several willing participants: a fashion model, a photographer, and a couple descending the stairs.

Robin Kent 1PF March 2016 Final

Final Image

On a technical note, the procedure I used for adding these elements was to first create a new layer above the background.  The copied images were scaled down using the Edit–>Transform–>Scale tool on the inserted layer (be sure to hold the shift key down to maintain the original aspect ratio).

Thanks again to Stacy for organizing this monthly event. You can see the other versions by the participants by clicking on this link.  And thanks to Nancy for a fun image to edit.

20 thoughts on “OnePhoto Focus (March)

  1. Great capture at the Cathedral! It was a challenging lighting situation and you nailed it! Also like your creative approach with the One Photo Focus, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your edits to the photo. So creative! And the Cathedral photo is fabulous (I saw it when you posted it last time). It’s so nice the staff allows photographers in early to capture the morning light. Once I get back into photography, I’ll sign up.

    I’ve only seen bits and pieces of “Shakespeare in Love” ~ may have to check it out on Netflix.


    • Thanks for the comments. Yes, the new program is a good idea. Allows them to raise a bit of money (2011 earthquake was a tough hit on their budget) and provide some friendly access to photographers who in other venues get less friendly treatment from the tripod police. Hope you will be back shooting soon.


  3. Something weird is happening! I SWEAR I posted a comment on this. In fact I know I did. But yet I don’t see it here. This has been happening on others’ blogs as well. 😦 Anywayyyyy….I love what you did. There is something very cool when the edit isn’t just colorization, etc. I LOVE the creativity!! Happy Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanksm Laura, and I’m thinking your first coment probably fell into that great big bit-bucket in the sky. A lot of mine have gone there over the years and they don’t seem to want to leave;-) Anyway, I appreciate your comments, it was a fun project. Amazing to see what everyone came up with.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Joanne. I didn’t know exactly what to do when I first looked at the image, but instead of waiting until the last minute like I usually do, I started about a week before the midnight deadline. Maybe there is a life lesson for me here;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Robin, the cathedral photo is absolutely stunning! Beautiful colors, gorgeous light – what an amazing experience. One of these days I definitely just HAVE to make it to one of these sessions!

    As for how you transformed Nancy’s image, I just LOVE it (and continue to be envious of your PS skills!). Too much fun 🙂 Thanks for the tip on how to scale – I used free transform, if memory serves, and thus did have a back-and-forth with the proportions of my layers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stacy. I’m gad you liked it. One of the great things about 1PF is that it presents problems/opportunities that enable us to try unfamiliar techniques. Thanks also for the comments on the Cathedral. I’m going down there again this Saturday for another one of those sessions. And it is only a matter of days before the cherry blossoms turn on their magic.

      Liked by 1 person

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